Update - maybe I was deficient in Magnesium?

I just wanted to update everyone...having kept my daily migraine dairy (religiously) for almost 7 years now, I can very accurately see the patterns of my headaches/migraines...

Things have improved considerably in the last 20 months since being on topiramate (50mg x 2 per day), however looking at last year's diary, I would still get between 1 and 5 migraines per month (but that's still an improvement on an average of a headache every 1 in 3 days!).

However, it has occured to me that I have only had 1 headache and one migraine in the last 53 days, which is almost spooky!

Since my son went back to uni, my 16 year old daughter (a vegan), continues to do all the cooking...although I am not totally vegan, I am eating very little dairy as a consequence of my daughter's eating habits, and we are eating an extremely healthy diet, with lots of quinoa and brown rice (and a huge variety of veg). I am also addicted to dates, which I have noticed contain magnesium, as does brown rice. The lack of headaches is so noticable, I really am starting to wonder whether there may be strong evidence to suggest that I was previously lacking in this mineral. I wouldn't say my diet was nearly as healthy previously. I eat sometimes up to 12 dates per day. I would add that I have not put on weight (I am slim) - but I am not eating any processed food at all. I can't help thinking that maybe this is a 'wonder' food for migraines - may be worth others trying? I have even done some 'trigger' stuff that hasn't brought on headaches. Just a thought! I'll provide an up date in a month or so, but wish everyone all the best and would be interested to hear if anyone else has any luck with this!

24 Replies

  • Hi Blinc

    Thank you for letting us know about this, I have tried to figure out what causes my headaches, kept food diaries and cannot pin it down to anything but thought it was to do with diet.

    I bought some feverfew and magnesium tablets a couple of months ago and took them religiously for a few weeks and thought they were helping, then got a really bad headache and stopped taking them, since then, although i can sometimes feel a "background" headache, I haven't had the really bad headaches I was getting and have cut down on the sumatriptan I was taking.

    I thought that it was the feverfew that may have had an effect, however it would make more sense if it was the magnesium I was taking that helped due to it being a mineral that perhaps I was low in, which would explain why after I stopped taking it, I still think it had an effect. I will start taking it again.

    Well done on your excellent diet by the way

  • Hi Tmoxon

    I know your heart sinks when you think you've 'cracked it' (such as you trying the feverfew - I tried that a few years ago, thinking it was working, and then the headaches came back with a vengeance)...I would definitely try the magnesium again, though can't you try it in natural (food) form? But if that's easier said than done, then I'm sure the supplements can only help. I can't really take any credit for my diet - I'm just very lucky that my daughter loves to cook - I hope it doesn't go pear-shaped when she leaves home! It is interesting though that my head is finally behaving! ancient-minerals.com/magnesium - this is interesting (there's tonnes of stuff of course) - according to this, eating too much sugary and processed food has a detrimental effect on our bodies and magnesium as well.

    Once again, all the best.


  • Thank you Blinc, I have put on a bit of weight lately (making and eating 3 large Christmas cakes over the last few months hasn't helped), so now need to restrain myself a bit and perhaps eat dates, figs and prunes for something sweet which I have done in the past.

    I bought a huge bottle of Swanson's triple magnesium tablets so I will start taking them again as I think they are also supposed to help with sleeplessness which I sometimes struggle with. I haven't tested for being low in magnesium, however I did experience a lot of cramp in my legs which i think can indicate being low.

    Have you any recommendations of where to get nice dates from as some can be a bit hard and stringy. thanks

  • Come to think of it, I've also been sleeping a lot better during the last few months.

    I find the only way to not eat processed sugary food is not to have it in the house, as I have a massively sweet tooth. I do have the odd 'binge', but not anything like I used to, when I would stock up on wicked foods for my son, and then eat them myself! (thinking of your christmas cakes!). Back to the dates, if you have a large Tesco nearby, see if they sell 'Jordan River dates' - I have just bought from there (Hatfield), & '3 for 2', one kg box 'Natural dates' £3.49 - this works out extremely cheap, but we get through tonnes! I agree, cheap dry dates are not nice! We also buy 'Date Nectar' for sweetening very healthy crumbles and the occassional puddings - also devine and was sold at Waitrose for introductory price of £2 recently. I think it's usual price will be £3.49 or something. Can also buy that (Meridian brand) from some Holland & Barratts and other health food stores. Mejool dates are of course wonderful but very expensive. Hopefully you can find the above mentioned at your nearest Tescos. Good luck! Blinc

  • If you are in the States, Trader Joes has delicious, reasonably priced dates, as does Whole Foods and most health food coöps. Btw, I do not eat anything sweetened with refined sugar or agave-- I get terrible migraine, since menopause , with anything like that or processed foods with nitrates/MSG. The sugar migraine lasts at least 24 hours. Best healing wishes to all. Namaste.

  • Thank you Blinc I will look out for those dates when I next visit a large Tesco ( only a small one in the town near me) I have looked online and they arent available for delivery in our area, but maybe in my daughters so I will get her to have a look. Just looked for the date nectar which sounds lovely and its at Sainsbury's and Waitrose for £2 at the moment.

    Thanks again for the helpful advice, hope you continue to feel well and manage to stay away from the sweets, i don't find it easy.

  • Thank you! Neither do I! Strength to us all!

  • Hi I was told that magnesium takes a few months to make a difference. I have been advised to try it with vit b2 & q10.

  • Interesting. I tried mag for 2 or 3 months but noticed no difference and keep a diary. I tired Vit B2 for 4 months but never worked, yet to try Q10, but, never been told to do all of them together. I am on Pitzofen at the moment and hoping that works as been good so far after 3 weeks.

  • Wonderful wonderful news... And as I often say with good luck, "Don't jinx it!!" We can all celebrate your well being with gratitude as well for your shared thoughts about Magnesium. It could very well be a support and I know many "Migraine Cocktails" contain Magnesium as well as Butterbur, Calcium and Vitamin C.

  • Great to hear that about magnesium. Having had very frequent migraines for 2 and half years now, I have decided to properly try magnesium. I was previously taking some that I bought in a health food store but then realised it is magnesium oxide and this is nowhere near as effective as magnesium citrate or malate. I have bought a massive tub of magnesium citrate powder and am going to take a proper dose of it, 2 tsps a day dissolved in water and see if it helps.

    I'm still convinced that there is a reason for my migraines starting suddenly 2 and a half years ago aged 39!

  • Mine started 21/2 years ago too

  • Yes good point as the common one normally sold at health shops are Mag oxide and they can a bit of a laxative, and citrate and malate are the better ones. You can get them as a special from the chemist with prescription but costs a lot more.

  • Thank you for your update. I am a vegetarian and eat very healthily. I have started taking magnesium tablets and feverfew. My migraines are definitely caused by neck problems. I am being referred to have a scan.. So glad you have found what helps you. Keep us updated as I often think I have found the miracle cure only yo be disappointed a few weeks later when the damn things start creeping back

  • Oh believe me, I know what you mean about thinking you've found a miracle cure, only to be disappointed when you realise you haven't...I too suffer from an incredibly stiff and painful neck (comes and goes in intensity, & always on the right side), and I know muscular/skeletal factors triggers are huge, but even doing things that usually 'trigger', haven't done so of late. But yes, I will definitely keep you posted of progress, in case this is all a fluke!!! Let's hope it isn't though. Good luck with your scan...

  • Thanks I'm going to have a 2 week trial with the chi machine. Should be here at the end of the week. I'll let you know how that goes. Google it. Very expensive but if it works, I have a birthday coming up 🤗

  • I will take a look - please do keep us posted...

  • I have tried many forms of magnesium over the years and it is only since commencing on magnesium glycinate that I have noticed a vast improvement in my headaches. This also coincides with my periods only coming every few months now so that also may be a factor. From having migraine headaches along with cluster headaches almost on a daily basis I sometimes can go 10 days without having to take imigran. This is amazing for me!

  • That's so interesting! It's so helpful to be able to share this information, as although the doctors do try their best of course, I guess they can't be experts at nutritional well (well some are), but it does seem this has a lot to do with it... I'm tempted to see what happens if I come off Topiramate, but will discuss with my GP, who is very supportive. Interesting about your age - yes, I'm nearly 48, so of course this could be a factor too...

  • I am happy for you that you have had a reprieve!! I found the book, The Migraine Miracle by Josh Turknett M.D, and am doing really well with his plan. He is an American Neurologist who began eating a Ketogenic food plan to clean up his diet and a Not too long after he and his wife realized they were not having near as many regular migraines anymore! He eventually had his patients try this and since then, 2010, thousands of migraineurs have become migraine free & medication free when they eat on plan. His book was published in 2013 I believe?

    Dr Turknett explained my neck and shoulder pain was textbook rebound headache and the FIRST thing I had to do for success was get out of rebound...which I am doing. I am eating on plan and have been migraine free for 3 days! I am still working on this but love my new diet and the feeling of calmness and the lack of constant worry of "what is going to happen next?". I have been off triptans and painkillers for a few weeks. I think I was in rebound for a good 21 yrs!!!!! I was waking up with migraine..typically the early bits of one..nearly every day.

    Proccesed foods are another migraine trigger, and sugar FUELS migraine..oh the things I have learned. At any rate I wanted to pass this along because this is very important cutting edge information and from the bottom of my heart I want all of us to get better!! I belong to the Facebook page and the website. The book is The Migraine Miracle by Josh Turknett M.D. And the website is My Migraine Miracle.com.

    Best of luck on your journey :)

    Nancy in Canada

  • Thank you so much Nancy... I can't wait to take a google look at this book- it will be interesting to see how the diet over laps with how I've been eating on my virtually vegan diet (thanks to my daughter, who cooks a lot from 'deliciously Ella' 'Oh She Glows' etc. A drug free life would be perfect! I'm going to get googling! Thank you again for sharing your information😄

  • Hi

    That is great news for you that you haven't had any migraines for a while. I am currently reading the migraine miracle book which advocates the Ancestral diet of back to basics which sounds like you are doing. I have heard that magnesium in conjunction with B2 and Q10 supplements are helpful. The book talks about triggers and crossing the threshold to migraine which may explain why you have been ok with some of your triggers. Well worth reading we will see how the diet goes, thanks for the

    tip about dates.

  • Yes- re triggers, I also remember the migraine clinic telling me it's usually a combination of factors/ triggers that 'tips you over the edge', so maybe one's head can take a muscular/ skeletal trigger if you're eating good stuff! And re the diet, I had a look at the ancestral diet - I have been avoiding 'regular' bread (modern) bread & pasta containing wheat/gluten for some time -buying spelt etc instead or fancy stuff from health food stores (but nice!), as advised in ancestral diet- other main difference though, is minimal dairy & virtually no meat. Thank you for mentioning B2 & q10- I will ensure I'm getting these in my diet. All great stuff to share😄

  • Many of us are deficient in magnesium - and we need a form that we can absorb easily - most of us can take magnesium citrate & maleate, epsom salts in the bath, & magnesium oil. We need B vits (B2) to absorb it well. It is worthwhile remembering that one of the good things that magnesium does is to relax muscles - could be useful for migraines

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